default_mobilelogo

Online SafetyYour abuser can track your online actions. If you are currently being stalked or abused, we recommend that you use a computer that your abuser does not have access to - at a public library, a trusted friend's home, or an Internet café. The following information may help you hide some of your tracks – but not all. The safest thing to do if you are currently being abused or stalked is to use a computer you abuser does not have access to. An abuser can discover your Internet activities in a number of ways:

E-mail
If an abuser has access to your email account, he or she may be able to read your incoming and outgoing mail. Be sure to check your "Sent Mail" folder and delete any messages you do not want your abuser to see. If you believe your account is secure, make sure you choose a password he or she will not be able to guess.

If an abuser sends you threatening or harassing email messages, they may be printed and saved as evidence of this abuse. Additionally, the messages may constitute a state or federal offense. For more information on this issue, contact the District Attorney in your county or your local United States Attorney's Office.

History/Cache Files
If an abuser knows how to read your computer's history or cache file (automatically saved web pages and graphics), he or she may be able to see information you have viewed recently on the internet. You can clear your history or empty your cache file in your browser's settings. Here's how:

Netscape: Pulldown Edit menu, select Preferences. Click on Navigator and choose Clear History. Click on Advanced then select Cache. Click on Clear Disk Cache.

On older versions of Netcape: Pulldown Options menu. Select Network Options, Select Cache. Click on Clear Disk Cache.

Additionally, make sure that the Use Inline Autocomplete box is not checked. (If checked, this function will complete a partial web address while typing a location in the address bar at the top of the browser.)

Internet Explorer: Open the Tools menu, choose Internet Options, then choose the General tab at the top. In the section called Temporary Internet Files, click on Delete Files to clear your cache. On the same screen, in the section called History, click on the Clear History button to erase your history list. In Internet Explorer, clearing the cache and history will automatically clear the address bar on your browser.

Additionally, make sure that the Use Inline Autocomplete box is not checked. (If checked, this function will complete a partial web address while typing a location in the address bar at the top of the browser.) Click on the Tools icon at the top of your Internet Explorer Page, then click on Internet Options, and then click on the Advanced tab. About halfway down there is a Use Autocomplete box that can be checked and unchecked by clicking on it. Make sure it is unchecked.

AOL: Pulldown Members menu, select Preferences. Click on WWW icon, then select Advanced. Click on Purge Cache.

Additionally, make sure that the Use Inline Autocomplete box is not checked. (If checked, this function will complete a partial web address while typing a location in the address bar at the top of the browser.)

Temp Files: In some cases, your computer will automatically save certain pages in your Temp folder, which is usually located at c://temp or c://windows/temp. If you view any forms or other PDF files, these will probably be stored in this folder. Be sure to go to this folder and delete any files you do not want your abuser to know you viewed. Sometimes these files are automatically deleted when you turn off and re-start your computer.

Note: This information may not completely hide your tracks. Many browser types have features that display recently visited sites. The safest way to find information on the Internet, would be at a computer that your abuse cannot access. Try a local domestic violence agency, a local library, a community center, a friend's house, or at work.

For more information and assistance, please go to The National Center for Victims of Crime page on Cyberstalking. If you are concerned for your safety, please call the National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-779-SAFE (7233) or 1-800-787-3224 (TTY)

This information was provided by stopfamilyviolence.org. Another helpful resource regarding Internet safety is GetNetWise.